Prototype Link:

In order to better serve the students in collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the various collections and programs available to patrons of the library system, we propose Rhea, a mobile application that aims to help library users to better manage their UM library issues. This application is designed for the active users in library,especially the students who often miss the due date and suffer from the penalty from library due to their heavy workload. It mainly functions as a reminder to remind the users of their return date, overdue fines, waitlist, reservations, ordering and renewing. In addition, it also collects the basic functions of library information system, such as displaying general information of the borrowed materials and related loan policy.

Based on the research, we concluded several key findings that exist in the process of borrowing, reserving and ordering items from UM library. Students sometimes are heavily fined for certain type of overdue materials (such as DVDs and textbooks). But the UM library notice system sometimes fails to inform students of the status of the items they borrowed, reserved or ordered, which may cause students to overdue or get confused. Besides, the reminder service for waiting list of ordering service is not sufficient either so that students could not see the information of their activity in UM Library (borrowing, making reservation, and ordering) at the same time.

Based on these findings, we focused our design scope on the problem that MLibrary fails to effectively and consistently inform students of their library issues, which may cause students heavy financial loss and their dissatisfaction with the MLibrary service.  We decided to solve this problem with embedding a mobile application to the MLibrary mobile site. We think that a library reminder app could make MLibrary resources or services more mobile and serve users better. At present, the library only displays loan status information on the webpage under the user’s account, and simply sends notices to the user’s registration email address. The current communications between MLibrary and users are not efficient to ensure users to receive notices and handle them in time. Compared to email notice, a mobile application with multiple reminding functions is more effective, convergent and consistent.

Our target user group is active student users of Mlibrary, who have tight time schedule and easy to forget about loan issues under pressures. Generally speaking, they are in bad need of borrowing materials from library frequently. Although the faculty and staff have even more needs of borrowing materials, they don’t have to pay the penalty for overdue so that our design is not aimed at reminding them of the overdue. To narrow down our project scope, we mainly focus on serving the student users.

We have designed a mobile application to solve this problem. The user can personalize the setting to pick the way they feel the most comfortable. Basically this application can function as a reminder to remind users of due date, reservation status, circulation of books in store and incoming new books. The users don’t have to worry about missing the email notices when they have a lot of emails to handle and manage daily because they have this mobile application with the features: easy to take and check, frequent usage, and instant reminder.


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